The Rise of the Tent Ward: Homelessness in the Era of Mass Incarceration

Creator

Jessie Spear

Date

2018

Type

Article in Political Geography · January 2018

DOI: 10.1016/j.polgeo.2017.11.005

Description

In the era of mass incarceration, services for the homeless often involve mechanisms of confinement and discipline. Over the past decade, homeless communities in cities across the US have developed large-scale encampments in which residents survive outside the purview of official homelessness management systems. Most cities have responded by evicting campers and destroying their tents and shanties. Yet some local governments have instead legalized encampments, while imposing varying degrees of spatial control and surveillance on camp residents. In so doing, they have created unique new spaces for managing homelessness. This article terms these spaces “tent wards” to reflect their dualistic functions of both care and custody. Based on secondary sources and ethnographic research from 2013, I analyze nearly a dozen tent wards in cities across the US, and engage a more in-depth study of the development of such spaces in Fresno, California. I argue that the rise of tent wards calls attention to the need for a renewed focus on the relationship between incarceration and welfare in the US, and the ways in which a diverse range of spaces function together to isolate and discipline entire segments of the population.

Subject

Homelessness

Publisher

Article in Political Geography · January 2018
DOI: 10.1016/j.polgeo.2017.11.005

Format

Adobe PDF

Collection

Citation

Jessie Spear, “The Rise of the Tent Ward: Homelessness in the Era of Mass Incarceration,” I4E: Housing4All Digital Library, accessed September 23, 2019, https://i4e.omeka.net/items/show/67.

Output Formats

Comments

Social Bookmarking